Thoughts From William James

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William James wrote: “In the dim background of our mind we know meanwhile what we ought to be doing…But somehow we cannot start…Every moment we expect the spell to break…but it does continue, pulse after pulse, and we float with it…”

For 7 years, I heard that voice in background, late at night, in the quiet of the evening or when I was in my office doing the work.  I sometimes caught myself saying “What am I doing here?”  I even heard my 5 year old daughter tell me that I was grouchy in the evening.

What are the main factors of resistance? There are three critical factors:

  • Pragmatism Rules Our Culture:  It is easier to stay the course and enjoy the routine and security of life.
  • Opinions Of Others: It could be that voice of a parent or mentor that dissuades you from moving into uncertainty and into passionate life / work.
  • Your Thoughts: The ego dominated portion of your mind is telling you to stay, play it safe and not  explore the “spell” that William James mentions. 

It takes courage to start again, push against the “well intentioned opinions of others” and move into a new phase of work.

How do you break the spell? What do you do?